Saturday’s local elections were a setback for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), but it does not necessarily mean that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would be victorious in the 2024 presidential election.
In the 2018 local elections, the KMT also claimed victory, but the DPP triumphed in 2020.
The KMT has two major problems. First, it is like a tree with a weak trunk and strong branches.
The KMT mayoral and county commissioner candidates have won due to their personal qualities, rather than the party’s support.
If KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) or Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) try to reap the benefits of KMT individuals’ success, the “strong branches” could push back.
If New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) or Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) run for president, the Han Kuo-yu farce would likely be repeated.
Second, the KMT is facing a major threat from the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).
Although the TPP cannot stand on its own, its influence has been growing due to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou’s (郭台銘) support.
The TPP and Gou would affect the KMT’s plan, and Gou is unlikely to work with the KMT again, after how he was treated in the KMT’s most recent internal elections.
Despite its terrible showing in the local elections, the DPP is still the governing party. It is therefore imperative that the it initiates reforms and prepares for the presidential election.
Chen Wen-ching is an executive director of the Formosa Association of Resource Recycling.
Translated by Liu Yi-hung
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